Evening about "Who's Afraid of Disability?"


We ask ourselves what fearing, celebrating, labelling, disregarding, or theorizing disability means and how general assumptions about disability can be propelled beyond normative judgement. Our literary, academic, and artistic guests will navigate disability in an attempt of taking it beyond ab/normality. Through a series of playful interventions and creative dialogues this event aspires to actively engage you in imagining new ways of thinking about embodiment, sexuality, queerness and other social categorizations. 

The evening serves as the prologue to a seminar on “Cultural Analysis of Disability” organized by the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis (NICA) in collaboration with DSiN.

Anyone and everyone are welcome!

Restricted/ Open

Doelenzaal, UB 
University of Amsterdam
Singel 425
1012 WP Amsterdam 

The venue is wheelchair accessible and has a hearing loop system (ringleiding). Please contact us for any access needs required.

Sign up

Please register here before January 28, 2016.

More information

More information can be found at the website of the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis


Jules Sturm
Email: J.V.Sturm@uva.nl


Jacqueline Kool & Sofie Sergeant (DSiN), Jules Sturm (Nica/UvA), Ymke Kelders & Sofia Apostolidou (NICA)


Invited guests: Kenny Fries, Lisa Pfahl, Marie-Jose Calkhoven

Moderator: Ymke Kelders

Interventionist: Sofie Sergeant

About the presenters

Marie-Jose Calkhoven

Genetic, progressive muscle disease. Mother. Blogger about disability and illness, medical ethics and the “makeable” society, the field of representation of disability and illness. An activist, when necessary, diplomatic whenever possible.

Quote: “I don't want to get better, I'm already good enough.”

Kenny Fries

Kenny Fries is the award-winning author of "The History of My Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin's Theory and Body, Remember: A Memoir", as well as the editor of "Staring Back: The Disability Experience from the Inside Out". He currently lives in
Berlin where he is researching for Stumbling over History, which looks at disability in Germany past and present.

Quote: "There is no 'normal.' But there is adaptation and variation, as well as fear of all kinds of change."

Lisa Pfahl

Lisa Pfahl is professor for Disability Studies and Inclusive Education at the University of Innsbruck. She is the author of "Technologies of the Disabled Self" and several journal articles on the German segregated education system.

Quote: "The professionals of special needs education are afraid of disability; they fear loosing their professional privileges"

Warm-up act: “The Beauty & the Beast”

Odile Seitz is a French dancer.

Sven Walser is a German actor and producer.

Marie-Jose Calkhoven
Kenny Fries
Lisa Pfahl
Odile Seitz
Sven Walser